This week I wanted to share with you 8 Easy Ways to Stay Fit During The Holidays. During the holidays, we are going to be seeing our families and be surrounded by food, alcohol and desserts. Furthermore, there will be more social obligations, invitations that can deter us from our fitness goals.
Whether or not the holiday period deters us from our goals is fortunately up to us, I have compiled a list of 8 easy ways to get us through this holiday period while still reaching our health and fitness goals. On this list, we have exercising in the morning, drinking water, prioritizing sleep, moving every few hours, focusing on strength training, looking at the big picture, unlearning having an all or nothing mindset and drinking in moderation. What staying healthy during this period ultimately looks like is planning ahead, having realistic expectations and being consistent with our training!
I hope that you find these tips useful and enjoy your holiday period!
Tip #1: Exercise first thing in the morning
This tip is especially crucial because of the social element surrounding the holidays. In case there are any unplanned social obligations or outings, you want to have your workout done beforehand! Alongside planning your workouts, you want to make sure that you follow through with them so that there is room to socialize later.
Tip #2: Drink a lot of water
Staying hydrated is important regardless of what season it is. Water hydrates our skin and organs, it allows our bodies to function optimally and detoxify, our bodies need it! Provided that we do tend to eat more during this time of the year, we should aim to boost our water intake to look and feel our best! “Not only does water lubricate and cushion your joints, but it keeps your stomach full (The Orlando Health National Training Center, 2020).” Drinking water helps us by managing our hunger queues, decreasing our overall calorie consumption and by giving us more energy!
Tip #3: Prioritize sleep
Sleep is important for numerous reasons. One of the reasons sleep is especially crucial during the holiday period is because it allows our bodies to properly recover and function properly. Skimping out on sleep will negatively affect our performance at the gym, our mood when socializing and our capacity to make decisions/be our best selves. Aim to get anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Tip #4: Move every few hours
Research has indicated that being sedentary has health consequences such as an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, anxiety/depression among other diseases. There are numerous ways that one can combat being sedentary and sitting. These methods include walking, stretching, doing some yoga, going outside, etc. Stayin active is especially crucial during the holiday period because we are faced with social gatherings (which will require sitting indoors for extended periods) and consuming more calories, we therefore need to make sure that our activity levels are increased as well!
Tip #5: Focus on strength training
This blog is 100% all about strength-training, from it’s aesthetic benefits to the changes it has on our bodies/minds, strength training is something we should all look forward to regardless of the season! Making time for strength training come down to prioritizing it in our schedules.
“Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat (Wilson,2021).”
While lifting lighter weights/doing cardio can work (at least for the briefness of the holiday period), if you can manage to find heavier weights, you will achieve better results. This all comes down to planning ahead! You can do this by scheduling your training in the morning and performing your regular strength training session. You will definitely enjoy the holiday indulgences more when you know that you are getting those awesome health benefits!
Tip #6: Focus on the big picture
The holiday period only lasts a few weeks, even eating more and exercising less for this period is not long enough to derail our overall progress! Take it easy on yourself and remain kind to your mind/body. Try your best and if you do gain some extra weight/get off your program that you can easily get back on and keep making progress for the rest of the year! Enjoy yourself but be smart and prepared for this season!
Tip #7: Unlearn having an “all or nothing” mindset
This relates to the previous point about focussing on the big picture. Do not fret if you overindulge, you can simply move forward with a healthier meal or workout. Also try to unlearn perfection and having unrealistic expectations from this process, aim to move and be healthy and remember to be kind to youreslf during the holidays! “The holidays are hectic, but do your best to avoid the ‘all or nothing’ mentality when it comes to healthful eating and physical activity. In reality, there is more than just one way to live healthfully and be active (Bryant,2021).”
Tip #8: Drink in moderation
Try to keep alcohol consumption to a moderate level. This will reduce both having a hangover and needless consumption of extra calories. Have fun with drinking but don’t forget about your goals!
I hope that you enjoyed these 8 easy ways to stay fit during the holidays, make sure to let me know what you thought about it in the comments below!